FOOTBALL returned to the parks and fields in and around Redditch on Sunday as a new-look Redditch & South Warwickshire Combination got underway.
Last season’s Premier Division champions Black Horse began in fine style with a 5-1 victory over newly-promoted CBH Fasteners as Brendan Hicks scored twice.
Rubery Bridge made a mockery of many pre-season predictions as Paddy Behan scored twice in a 3-1 win at Austin Ex-Apprentices, whilst OKH Sporting Dynamo also sent a warning to the rest of the Premier Division with an 8-2 victory over Lodge Park RA.
In Division One, new signing Adam Crombie was the highest individual goalscorer of the day with four as New Woodland Cottage set the standard with a 9-3 victory over Royal Oak Alcester.
Winyates Wanderers also lived up to their pre-season title challengers billing with a 5-0 victory over Redditch Cross.
Coldstream stunned Studley Railway when Jake Booton scored with a 30-yard lob on 28 minutes and Chris Gee’s calm finish in first half stoppage time put the hosts 2-0 up.
However, two goals in three second half minutes from Stewart Rowland and George Dailes got the Railway back on track with a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
Daniel Bearcroft scored twice as Red Lion roared into the new season with a 4-1 victory over AFC Lions.
VKL United raced into a 4-1 first half lead at home to Beoley Village, before the visitors rallied and levelled the scores in the second half as Ryan Richards claimed a first day hat-trick.
However, Daniel Smiles scored a debut goal with five minutes remaining to secure all three points for the hosts in a 5-4 win.
Sunday’s fixtures see early front-runners Black Horse and Rubery Bridge clash at Studley Sports Centre in the Premier Division, whilst New Woodland Cottage face Studley Railway at Greenlands and Winyates Wanderers face Red Lion at the HDA.
Sunday’s results: Premier Division – Austin Ex-Apprentices 1 (Nicol) Rubery Bridge 3 (Behan 2, O’Connor); CBH Fasteners 1 (C Davies) Black Horse 5 (Hicks 2, Adams, Byfield, Edwards); Lodge Park RA 2 (Nolan 2) OKH Sporting Dynamo 8 (L Dugmore 2, R Dugmore, Hewitt, Wills 2, Nash, Tranter).
Division One – Coldstream 2 (Booton, Gee) Studley Railway 2 (Rowland, Dailes); Red Lion 4 (Bearcroft 2, Nurthen, Hepburn) AFC Lions 1 (Taylor); Redditch Cross 0 Winyates Wanderers 5 (Reeves, Squibb, Phelan, Bourne 2); Royal Oak Alcester 3 (Kelleher 2, Keen) New Woodland Cottage 9 (McElroy, Byng 2, Adam Crombie 4, Benton); VKL United 5 (Hadley, Smith, Smiles, Murphy 2) Beoley Village 4 (Ryan Richards 3, Manders).
BRT Terry Cup – Redditch Town 0 Millfield Rovers 6 (Smith 2, Walker 2, Hancox, Halsall).